Friday, March 29, 2013

Tonight's Movie: Storm Over Wyoming (1950)

STORM OVER WYOMING is an especially good-looking Western available in a beautiful print from the Warner Archive's Tim Holt Western Classics Collection, Vol. 3.

Holt plays Dave Saunders, which was his character's name in a couple other Westerns in 1950 and 1951. Perennial sidekick Richard Martin also stars as Chito Rafferty, a character Martin played in over 30 films between 1943 and 1952. The genial Martin is great fun and provides a nice contrast with the more serious character played by Holt.

This time around Dave and Chito wander into the middle of a range war between cowboys and sheep herders. The plot isn't anything distinctive, but there's lots of energetic chasing back and forth on horseback, a fun saloon singer named Ruby (Betty Underwood), and beautiful scenery, with most of the movie taking place in the great outdoors.

This is one of those black and white Westerns where the wind rustles the trees, the sun reflects off the creeks, clouds hang low in the sky, and you can almost smell the dust when it kicks up. The photography gives the viewer the sense of what it felt like to be standing in the scene as it was filmed; it's truly beautiful.

My initial guess was that the movie was filmed in the Sierras somewhere around Mammoth, but it turns out it was filmed around Idyllwild, California. The scenery is quite different from that of Western films made in areas such as Lone Pine, Red Rock Canyon, or the movie ranches around L.A., which helps add to the visual interest for a Western fan.

In addition to the lovely scenery, some of the camera setups were creatively done. The movie was shot by J. Roy Hunt, whose credits also included I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE (1943), CROSSFIRE (1947), and THE LAWLESS (1950).

The film was directed by Lesley Selander, whose credits included other Westerns I've enjoyed such as COW COUNTRY (1953), ARROW IN THE DUST (1954), and SHOTGUN (1955).

The movie also stars Noreen Nash, Bill Kennedy, Kenneth MacDonald, Don Haggerty, and Vince Barnett. My husband and I could have sworn one of the cowhands was a young Alan Hale Jr., but he's not listed by IMDb.

"B" Western fans will find STORM OVER WYOMING an enjoyable 61 minutes.


Blogger barrylane said...

Richard Powers, of course, the handsome bad guy, worked as hero under the name Tom Keene. Also at RKO among other places.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for adding that information, barrylane! :)

Best wishes,

8:32 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I'm always up for a range war.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You betcha! :)

Best wishes,

10:56 PM  

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